Sara D. Garduño-Diaz

Publications

1 Food Security in the Middle East and North Africa

Authors: Sara D. Garduño-Diaz, Philippe Y. Garduño-Diaz

Abstract:

To date, one of the few comprehensive indicators for the measurement of food security is the Global Food Security Index (GFSI). This index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model, constructed from 28 unique indicators, that measures drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries. Whereas the GFSI has been calculated across a set of 109 countries, in this paper we aim to present and compare, for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 1) the Food Security Index scores achieved and 2) the data available on affordability, availability, and quality of food. The data for this work was taken from the latest available report published by the creators of the GFSI, which in turn used information from national and international statistical sources. MENA countries rank from place 17/109 (Israel, although with resent political turmoil this is likely to have changed) to place 91/109 (Yemen) with household expenditure spent in food ranging from 15.5% (Israel) to 60% (Egypt). Lower spending on food as a share of household consumption in most countries and better food safety net programs in the MENA have contributed to a notable increase in food affordability. The region has also, however, experienced a decline in food availability, owing to more limited food supplies and higher volatility of agricultural production. In terms of food quality and safety the MENA has the top ranking country (Israel). The most frequent challenges faced by the countries of the MENA include public expenditure on agricultural research and development as well as volatility of agricultural production. Food security is a complex phenomenon that interacts with many other indicators of a country’s wellbeing; in the MENA it is slowly but markedly improving.

Keywords: Nutrition, Sustainability, diet, food insecurity, global food security index

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Abstracts

3 Development of an Online Raw-Vegan Eating Program to Reduce Sugar Intake

Authors: Sara D. Garduño-Diaz, Lorena Loriato

Abstract:

Food selection is one of the main modifiable risk factors for the avoidance of several detrimental health conditions. Excessive and regular sugar intake has been identified as highly unfavorable, yet a highly occurring practice. A proposed approach to modify this eating practice is the online program developed here. The program targets a modification of mindset and lifestyle habits around food, through a four week raw-vegan guided eating program. While the focus of the program is to set up sustainable changes in sugar intake reduction, it also aims to promote a plant-based eating style. Three pilot sessions have been run with participants from seven different countries. Participants are guided through the program via a combination of daily e-mails, a 24-hour support platform, and by-weekly remote live sessions. Meal preparation techniques, as well as cooking instructions, are provided, following set menus developed by a team of professional chefs and nutritionists. Goal setting, as well as alternatives to specific food-related challenges, is addressed. While the program is intended for both women and men, the majority of participants to date have been female. Feedback has been positive, with changes in eating habits have included an elimination of added sugars, an increase in home cooking and vegetable intake, and a reduction in foods of animal origin. Difficulties in following the program have been reported as unavailability of certain ingredients depending on the country of residence of the participants, social and cultural hurdles, and time restrictions. Nevertheless, the results obtained to date indicate this to be a highly interactive program with the potential to be scaled up and applied to various populations as a public health measure on the way to better health.

Keywords: Food Addiction, nutrition education, eating habits, plant-based, remote practice

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2 Development of a Plant-Based Dietary Supplement to Address Critical Micronutrient Needs of Women of Child-Bearing Age in Europe

Authors: Sara D. Garduño-Diaz, Ramona Milcheva, Chanyu Xu

Abstract:

Women’s reproductive stages (pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and lactation) represent a time of higher micronutrient needs. With a healthy food selection as the first path of choice to cover these increased needs, tandem micronutrient supplementation is often required. Because pregnancy and lactation should be treated with care, all supplements consumed should be of quality ingredients and manufactured through controlled processes. This work describes the process followed for the development of plant-based multiple micronutrient supplements aimed at addressing the growing demand for natural ingredients of non-animal origin. A list of key nutrients for inclusion was prioritized, followed by the identification and selection of qualified raw ingredient providers. Nutrient absorption into the food matrix was carried out through natural processes. The outcome is a new line of products meeting the set criteria of being gluten and lactose-free, suitable for vegans/vegetarians, and without artificial conservatives. In addition, each product provides the consumer with 10 vitamins, 6 inorganic nutrients, 1 source of essential fatty acids, and 1 source of phytonutrients each (maca, moringa, and chlorella). Each raw material, as well as the final product, was submitted to microbiological control three-fold (in-house and external). The final micronutrient mix was then tested for human factor contamination, pesticides, total aerobic microbial count, total yeast count, and total mold count. The product was created with the aim of meeting product standards for the European Union, as well as specific requirements for the German market in the food and pharma fields. The results presented here reach the point of introduction of the newly developed product to the market, with acceptability and effectiveness results to be published at a later date.

Keywords: Organic, pregnancy, Fertility, Lactation, vegetarian

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1 Food Security in the Middle East and North Africa

Authors: Sara D. Garduño-Diaz, Philippe Y. Garduño-Diaz

Abstract:

To date, one of the few comprehensive indicators for the measurement of food security is the Global Food Security Index. This index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative bench marking model, constructed from 28 unique indicators, that measures drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries. Whereas the Global Food Security Index has been calculated across a set of 109 countries, in this paper we aim to present and compare, for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 1) the Food Security Index scores achieved and 2) the data available on affordability, availability, and quality of food. The data for this work was taken from the latest (2014) report published by the creators of the GFSI, which in turn used information from national and international statistical sources. According to the 2014 Global Food Security Index, MENA countries rank from place 17/109 (Israel, although with resent political turmoil this is likely to have changed) to place 91/109 (Yemen) with household expenditure spent in food ranging from 15.5% (Israel) to 60% (Egypt). Lower spending on food as a share of household consumption in most countries and better food safety net programs in the MENA have contributed to a notable increase in food affordability. The region has also however experienced a decline in food availability, owing to more limited food supplies and higher volatility of agricultural production. In terms of food quality and safety the MENA has the top ranking country (Israel). The most frequent challenges faced by the countries of the MENA include public expenditure on agricultural research and development as well as volatility of agricultural production. Food security is a complex phenomenon that interacts with many other indicators of a country’s well-being; in the MENA it is slowly but markedly improving.

Keywords: Nutrition, Sustainability, diet, food insecurity, global food security index

Procedia PDF Downloads 210